Actors' Equity Association Statement on Gov. Newsom’s Budget Proposal

California Should be a Leader in Arts Funding

Los Angeles – Actors’ Equity Association, the national labor union representing more than 51,000 actors and stage managers, has released the following statement in reaction to Gov. Newsom’s budget proposal. Released today, Newsom’s budget is limited to one-time increases for the California Arts Council.

“While California made progress last year under Gov. Newsom’s leadership, it still ranks just 26th in the nation for arts funding,” said Kate Shindle, President of Actors’ Equity Association. “Live performing arts have proven over and over again, all across America, to be a massive economic engine for local and state business communities. But they need seed money and support to be able to fundraise, take root, and grow to the point at which they can sustain themselves and pay fair wages. There is no better time for a conversation about how California can strengthen arts funding.”

Background: According to Americans for the Arts, the typical nonprofit arts attendee spends an additional $31.47 per person per event beyond the cost of admission – that includes everything from dinner and drinks to parking and the babysitter. 

Actors’ Equity has a history of fighting for stronger public arts funding, from the National Endowment for the Arts, to local ballot measures. In 2018, Equity members and EMCs volunteered to support Prop E in San Francisco, a measure that led to millions of dollars in new local arts funding.

ACTORS' EQUITY ASSOCIATION, founded in 1913, is the U.S. labor union that represents more than 51,000 professional actors and stage managers. Equity endeavors to advance the careers of its Members by negotiating wages, improving working conditions and providing a wide range of benefits (health and pension included). Member: AFL-CIO, FIA.  #EquityWorks

Jan. 10, 2020